The Legislative Council yesterday passed legislation to lift bans on Scientology in Victoria.
Scientology has been banned under a State law passed in 1965. There are 6000 scientologists in Victoria who practise their faith despite the ban.
The Liberal and National Parties did not oppose a bill to amend the Psychological Practices Act, introduced by the Health Minister, Mr Roper. He claimed the act was a nonsense law brought in in a fit of panic in the 1960s.
The Psychological Practices Act outlaws teaching of scientology and the use of a testing device known as the E-meter. Scientologists say this equipment is integral to their religion. The act came after a 159-day inquiry which found that scientology was a serious moral and medical threat to the community.
But the church, although banned in Victoria, has been able to practise under Federal law since 1973.
Explaining the Opposition's decision not to oppose the bill, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Council, Mr Storey, said: "There does not seem to be any good reason for maintaining these provisions in the act. They do not prevent Scientologists carrying out their practices because they actively operate in the community; nor do they provide protection for young or impressionable people who may be led into something which, if they had been more mature or less impressionable they would not have been drawn into."